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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  May 27, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT

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temperatures, but monday, it's raining and cooler. >> all right. have a great weekend. join us at 11:00. i'm jim rosenfield. tonight, deadly flood emergency. an epic deluge filling rivers to historic heights, and breaking news, a tropical storm warning with trouble now off the east coast. mad rush. on those overwhelmed security lines, as millions hit the road. rails and airports, one of the busiest travel days of the year. reversal of fortune. late word after the $10 million challenge, donald trump now says he won't debate bernie sanders. cell phones and cancer. the new government study reigniting a new debate, how safe are the devices that rarely leave our side. and spellbound by a pair of champions battling late into the
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tonight. millions hooked on every word. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. there will be no parades or picnics in parts of texas this memorial day weekend. caught up in a flood emergency after more than a foot of rain fell in some places. it's been a dramatic day of high-water rescues and heart-wrenching loss. at least two people have died and others have gone missing in the surging floodwaters, that has closed roads, damaged homes and forced many to evacuate. severe weather is developing right now in the center of the country. al roker with the forecast in a moment. but first, nbc's gabe gutierrez with the very latest. >> reporter: in travis county, texas, they were desperate, surrounded by raging water, hoisted to safety from vehicles and rooftops one by one.
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all-out flood emergency. >> it's never been this bad. the water's never gotten to our house. everything is damaged and ruined. >> reporter: throughout texas, at least two people killed. now a frantic search for three others believed to have been swept away from their cars. brennan, texas, shattering the records, toppling 17 inches of rain. drivers in houston stranded. >> from the time we turned around, my car was underwater. >> reporter: it's been a destructive week. 134 tornado reports since last saturday, spawning dramatic images throughout the heartland. lightning in oklahoma caught on a police dash cam. today this funnel cloud spotted in north dakota, east of fargo. in central texas, the powerful thunderstorms forced allen and his wife to take cover. >> we started getting a little bit of hail. so we jumped up and went to the door to look. and then it got really
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intense. >> reporter: that intensity not over yet. rising rivers expected to crest saturday morning, and among their highest levels ever. here in kansas, there's already been another tornado warning this afternoon. and more rain has started to fall. the flood threat now stretching into the holiday weekend. the enormity of this week's storms still sinking in. lester? >> gabe gutierrez. tonight, al roker with us right now. al, we're heading into a holiday weekend. we keep watching the floods and rains in the central part of the texas, now tropical storms. >> that's right. we've got a lot going on. 11 million people under at least some sort of flash flood warning or watching stretching from texas to louisiana. probably end up with about two feet of rain before this is all said and done. and we're watching what could become tropical storm bonnie. winds of 35 miles per hour, moving west-northwest at about 13 miles per hour. looks like it will make landfall sometime saturday afternoon.
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may even slow up. we're looking for dangerous rip currents, rough surf, heavy rain at times. we're looking at rainfall amounts anywhere, lester, from about three to five inches of rain. this will be the only -- only the eighth tropical storm to form in the month of may since 1980. >> al, thank you. the memorial day mad dash is well under way with 38 million americans expected to travel over the next few days. one of the busiest periods of the year. we'll take a look now at some of the nation's largest airports live. the tsa surging screener officers into the nation's airports in afr effort to ease the log jam we've seen. what we haven't seen for a while, gas prices suddenly on the rise. tom costello has all the latest. >> reporter: kickoff to the summer 2016 travel season, and after months of record tsa waits, today signs of improvement. in atlanta, intimidating lines this morning, but most travelers through in less than 20 minutes.
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at the biggest airports thursday, the tsa said 90% of the wait times were under 15 minutes. >> ideally, how long should somebody have to wait in a tsa line? are we talking a 20-minute wait, hour wait? >> the average across the system is well below 30 minutes. >> reporter: what happened to the two-hour waits? part-time screeners are shifting to full-time, more officers on overtime, dog teams sniffing and clearing passengers more quickly, officers who have been assigned to campaign events are coming back to airport assignments, and airline staffers are now helping out. 4 million paems expected to fly this weekend. traditionally, though, this weekend, far more people drive than fly. and nationwide this year, gas prices are headed north. the national average is now $2.32 a gallon, up about 18 cents in a month. though we found $2.57 in yonkers, new york, $2.89 in chicago. the reasons? a pipeline in wisconsin is down,
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refineries have cut back, oil trading above $50 for the first time since november, and in michigan, an energy new jersey with demand outstripping supply. >> cheapest gas definitely in the gulf if you're heading to the south, you'll see it cheap, texas, oklahoma, louisiana, gas prices in the low $2 a gallon range. >> reporter: on the west coast, a family driving 300 miles in the van this weekend will save about $15 a tank compared to last year. but in the midwest, the savings could be just $1 to $3 a tank. and summer is just getting started. back out here live at reagan national airport. despite the much-improved tsa wait lines across the country, a great deal of skepticism, that once the kids are out of school and all the family vacations start, the wait times might start to increase again. we'll have to see how that plays out over the coming months. >> looks pretty good back there right now, tom, thank you. chaos erupted outside a donald trump event. this time in san diego. violent clashes breaking out. protesters attacking
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police, and officers retaliating with force, driving them back. this follows late word that trump is dashing the hopes of many who hope to see him debate bernie sanders. nbc's katy tur with the latest. >> reporter: donald trump refusing to debate bernie sanders, telling supporters in fresno -- >> i want to debate him so badly. >> reporter: -- before issuing a caveat. >> if you're in first place, you don't want to debate somebody in second place. >> reporter: releasing a statement it would be inappropriate to debate the second-place finisher. he told the reporters the debate was on if -- >> we can raise for many women's health issues or something, if we can raise $10 million or $15 million for charity. >> reporter: the sanders team took trump seriously, negotiating with networks and getting a million-dollar pledge from a sanders suppo supporter. reporters asked him about it moments later.
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>> that's the first i heard of it. i heard he was going to debate me. and then i heard he was not ghg to debate me. and then i heard that he was. now you're telling me he is not going to debate me. i hope he changes his mind again. mr. trump is known to change his mind many times in a day. >> reporter: the presumptive gop nominee suggested the debate on jimmy kimmel tuesday night. now sanders is trying to hold trump to his word. daring him to get back in the race. >> he's a big tough guy. well, mr. trump, what are you afraid of? >> reporter: you're getting a live look outside trump's san diego rally right now. somebody getting arrested, now taunting police. there are thousands here. some are looking for a fight. they tried to -- a few of them tried to break the barricade, clashed with police. but san diego is ready, they have riot police here. there are also s.w.a.t. police patrolling the convention floor. they want to make sure that there aren't any confrontations like
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they've seen the last few months. that's why they're going to have all of the 10,000 supporters inside come all the way out the back end to avoid protesters president lester? >> what's becoming a regular site. the u.s. dropped the first atomic bomb 71 years ago during world war ii. he marked the moment with a call to put an end to nuclear weapons around the world. we get more from nbc's ron allen traveling with the president in japan. >> reporter: daring to tread where no american president had before, the hiroshima peace memorial. he reflected on monday, august 6th, 1945. >> on a bright, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed. >> reporter: the president honoring the nearly 300,000 who died here in nagasaki, then and in the decades since. a single scarred building, the most stark reminder of what
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happened. an eternal flame burns until nuclear weapons are eliminated. >> we have a shared responsibility to look directly into the eye of history and ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again. >> reporter: the president greeted warmly in this vibrant city of more than a million, especially by survivors who have long wanted america to recognize their suffering. this 79-year-old shared a lingering embrace. the president spoke of the world without nuclear weapons, no mention of upgrading america's vast arsenal. and slowing the pace it's being destroyed. instead, focusing on the fact that today children here only know peace. >> what a precious thing that is. >> reporter: a message this community that suffered so much yearned to hear. hiroshima, japan. to an explosive look inside america's drone war. while controversial drones remain a vital part of u.s. military strategy, just in the last week a u.s. drone
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strike killed the leader of the afghan taliban. tonight nbc news richard engel gives us rare access into the command center that launches lethal forces from thousands of miles away. >> reporter: cruising on an open road just outside of vegas. will looks like he could be heading home from a night out on the strip. does it feel like you're going to war right now? >> yeah. we do go to war every day. >> reporter: will is a u.s. air force captain at kreech air force base. the epicenter of president obama's secretive military drone operations. the air force doesn't want us to use will's last name, but did allow us to see him train the 2,500 other airmen here. >> ready to launch left missile. >> reporter: they control drones launched thousands of miles away overseas. >> you're so involved in what's going on, that you feel like you're in the airplane flying a mission. you're there. >> one key difference -- >> you're not.
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>> reporter: using high-powered drone cameras, and electronics, operators often keep watch over u.s. troops on the battlefield. we've asked the pilot of a predator drone flying above us right now to zoom in on me so we could get a sense of the resolution. and it is pretty clear. drone operators also gather intelligence, sometimes spying on terror suspects before killing them with an exotic array of onboard bombs and missiles. will talked us through drone videos declassified for nbc news of successful strikes on isis. this is a hot weapon sticking out of a window? >> yes. >> reporter: you can make out a moving white dot on the screen. that's a missile, following the drone's laser beam right into the window. >> i've seen a lot of videos of -- i haven't seen a weapon do that arc. >> reporter: another drone strike to hit a mortar position. the weapon leaving
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most of the building intact. a third clip shows a drone strike on a moving isis vehicle. the occupants obliterated. do you ever feel guilty that you're fighting against an enemy who can't hit you back? >> we're saving people, or helping our troops on the ground. you know, when would i ever feel bad about taking care of our guys. >> much more of richard's exclusive reporting inside the drone war, sunday night on our series "on assignment" here on nbc. still ahead tonight, the alarming headline from a major government study. reigniting the debate over cell phone and cancer. potential risks to you and especially your children. also, the intense battle, down to the also, the intense battle, down to the with usaa is awesome. homeowners insurance life insurance automobile insurance i spent 20 years active duty they still refer to me as "gunnery sergeant" when i call being a usaa member because of my service in the military to pass that on to my kids
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we're back now with a health headline that has so many people talking today. a big new government study is reigniting the heated debate over whether cell phones could be linked to brain cancer. the study is controversial. some scientists weighing in with doubts about the way it was conducted. others saying it's a game changer that we should take seriously. nbc's anne thompson has the details. >> reporter: cell phones, a must-have tool to survive the rat race. but it's what the devices appear to do to rats that is now confusing humans. partial findings from an extensive government study show low incidence of brain and heart tumors in
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male rats exposed to cell phone radiation. they got intermittent whole body radiation nine hours a day, seven days a week for two years. 2% to 3% developed tumors. is there any correlation between the increase in cell phone usage and brain tumors? >> so the answer to that question is, no, there has not been a parallel increase in the incidence of brain tumors despite decades now of cell phone use. >> reporter: the world health organization classifies cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen. in the same category as coffee, engine exhaust and pickled vegetables. though the rat study methods, they call it good science, that deserves more research. but doesn't advocate giving up the device. >> more people are harmed by cell phones because of texting because of cell phones because of brain tumors. >> reporter: the wireless industry shows a body of study from cell phone raid
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yoigs. to limit your exposure, doctors suggest wearing a headset or ear buds, limiting children's usage as their brains are still developing, keeping your cell phone away from your body, and off your night stand while you sleep. to stay connected without risking your health. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with a renowned doctor who's never used his famous maneuver to save a used his famous maneuver to save a life okay, so what's our latest data say? our customer is a 21-year-old female. used his famous maneuver to save a life heavily into basketball. wait. data just changed... now she's into disc sports. ah, no she's not. since when? since now. she's into tai chi. she found disc sports too stressful. hold on. let me ask you this... what's she gonna like six months from now? who do we have on aerial karate? steve. steve. steve. and alexis. uh, no. just steve. just steve. just steve. live business, powered by sap. when you run live, you run simple.
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we're retired, but we like to stay involved. you think he's going to learn to fly? we're just as busy now as in our teaching days. the same goes for a lot of the retired educators we know. let me see you all flap your wings, like you're penguins learning to fly. teaching is all about building relationships. and that never goes away. because once a teacher, always a teacher. we're ed and miriam, and we're proud to be new jersey educators. nail biter that went late into the night. two fierce competitors battling it out round after round. the audience spellbound and millions more watching at home hooked on every word. here's nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: the scripps national spelling bee brings the drama. that even the super bowl can turn into a blowing blowout, this is guaranteed heart-thumping tension.
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word by word they dwindled. until only two remained. nihar janga with a surprising swagger. >> is this an irish prime minister? >> it is. >> reporter: and jairam hathwar whose brother won in 2014. so no pressure. >> championship blood, jairam hathwar. >> reporter: this time organizers made the final rounds last even longer with words so hard, you should read them so i don't have to pronounce them. somehow the boys survived to the final round where jairam got the word feldenkrais, and gesellschaft, once again the word champion has two spellers. >> we both were trying to encourage each other to possibly
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become co-champions. >> i'm just speechless. i can't say anything. i'm only in fifth grade. >> reporter: in any other competition, such a shared moment of victory might seem wrong, but here it's hard to imagine a sweeter ending. joe fryer, nbc news. >> why is it always so much fun to watch those. when emergency strikes at a senior center in ohio, the exact right man for the job was there to help. a woman choking on food in the dining room that someone was performing the heimlich maneuver. that somebody was dr. henry heimlich himself. that doctor heimlich. 96 years old. also a resident of the senior center. he saved a woman's life by performing his own maneuver for the first time. when we come back, we're there for the emotional reunion between a teacher and emotional reunion between a teacher and student after houston: mission allergy escape. for those who've gone to extremes to escape their unrelenting nasal allergy symptoms... houston: news alert... new from the makers of claritin, clarispray.
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finally tonight, a follow-up to a story we brought you last month that struck a chord with so many of you, and frankly, many of us. a teacher who made an enormous sacrifice for a young student. today we were there for the moment they saw each other for the first time after an incredible life-saving gift. here's rehema ellis.
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>> reporter: prepping for the trans plant surgery, teacher jody schmidt was about to give a first grader at her school a brighter future. >> she has been sick her whole life. so she feels like that's normal for her. and i'm just excited to watch her actually feel good. >> reporter: natasha fuller was quiet as her mom carried her to the elevator, heading to the operating room at children's hospital of wisconsin in milwaukee. months earlier it was natasha's kindness and bright smile in spite of her kidney disease that captured the teacher's heart. and so jody, a wife and mother of three children of her own, got tested to find out if she could be a donor. and she surprised natasha's grandmother with the results, all wrapped up in a gift box. a message that said, it's a match. on tuesday, jody gave natasha her kidney. both are doing better than expected. this 8-year-old is
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anxious to try things she could only imagine before. like what? >> eat chocolate, get to eat more fries, and swim. >> reporter: this afternoon they saw each other for the first time since the surgery. >> oh, hi there, sweet girl. you look awesome. >> reporter: the two already imagining seeing each other at school next fall. >> i think i might ask you, so, how's our kidney doing? >> i would say they're doing good. >> reporter: this was more than the gift of a kidney. this week they gave each other a little piece of their hearts. >> friends forever. >> definitely. we can be kidney twins for life. >> yeah. >> reporter: rehema ellis, nbc news, milwaukee. >> quite a reunion. so glad to see them doing well. that's going to do it for all of us on a friday night. we begin this memorial day weekend leaving you with some scenes at arlington national cemetery where soldiers, as they do
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each year, have placed american flags at the graves of 230,000 service members. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and good night. amber heard goes public with a bruised face, accusing johnny depp of domestic violence. >> now, on "extra." days after filing for divorce, amber heard says johnny depp physically attacked her.
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>> you okay, amber? >> the explosive photo today. we have the latest. mario and donald trump. if he's president and she's first lady -- >> melania will be so great. >> what the former model wants to do as first lady and how the billionaire couple feels about downsizing in d.c. >> i thought, why would donald trump want to be president when he's already like a king? plus, why it totally bugs him -- >> combing my hair. >> jennifer lawrence on dealing with the fame game. the craziest request she gets from fans. >> i was in the bathroom the other night, and these girls were like -- plus, why j-law is saying this. >> when you meet me, you don't like me. mariah carey spilling secret after secret to a.j. >> yes! >> don't tell anyone about it. >> from her new reality series to her wedding,wedding, and the subject she refuses to discuss. >> don't drag me into this one. >>

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